Competitive runner Rosa Flanagan is living proof that it's entirely possible to pursue serious sporting goals while studying towards a career, thanks to CPIT's (now Ara Institute of Canterbury) flexible approach to learning.
The 19-year-old former Rangi Ruru Girls' School student and winner of the 2015 Young Sportswoman of the Year award is in her second year of part time study towards a Bachelor of Applied Management, specialising in human nutrition.
"My focus at the moment is on my running career and doing as well as I can, but I also want to ensure I keep a good life balance, which is where CPIT is important. When my running career comes to an end, I want to have a qualification that will enable me to work in nutrition."
With her coach based in Christchurch, it made sense for Rosa to study in her home town but that wasn't the only factor in her decision to study at CPIT. "I also liked the sound of the human nutrition course and the smaller class sizes compared to uni. I really thrive off the smaller classes and the one-to-one communication with the teachers. It's a more personal approach."
The flexibility of Rosa's programme has enabled her to compete at out-of-town running events. "My tutors have been very accommodating, allowing me to change dates around assignments and exams. I'm very appreciative of that. I really enjoy working with them and feel that I can always ask them for advice."
As well as appreciating the flexibility of her programme, Rosa is also pleased with its quality. "All of the papers are interesting, relevant and hands-on and I'm really looking forward to the work experience component. This course is setting me up extremely well for a career in nutrition."